Quick Look: Modular Hollow Book Dice Tower
Publisher: Fyre & Ashe
Year Published: Currently on Kickstarter (Link at the bottom of this review)
Customize your book dice tower with art by Brutal Bohemian.
I love me plenty of dice ; whether for DnD or a good ol’ dice chucking game like Uprising, I have no shortage of multi-sided polygons of randomness lying around my house. Yet while this chosen implement of fate is hardly scarce, a good medium through which to channel its portends is oft to be desired.
Yes, yes, I can and do often settle for just a good old table to roll dice on. It is a perfectly acceptable medium.
But truth be told, we often use a dice tower (you can win a dice tower and a $75 Amazon Gift Card too). For twofold reasons. First, it helps keeps dice from tumbling off of our mesa and into some dark corner of the universe, never to be seen again. Some my family members are rather clumsy in controlling their dice rolls, so a dice tower and try helps to mitigate some of this collateral loss.
The second is that they just plain look cool. Even the rather bare-bones and minimalistic one that I currently use commands a certain presence at the table, even though it is really nothing more than a clear finished pile of hardwood, for all of its visual luster (or lack thereof). Still, it serves its purpose well.
I became intrigued when saw the Hollow Book dice towers from Fyre and Ashe a while ago, though. And the reason for my being drawn to it had to deal with the aesthetics of my current tower. As stated, it is perfectly “plain”, but again, I can live with that. In fact, I have lived with that for a number of years with little complain about in terms of its usage, and even though I seem to deride its simple and humble appearance, it really is acceptable to me.
However, one thing that I find glaringly unpleasing about is its lack of ability to blend in anywhere on my gaming areas or shelves. In this regard, it is an abomination of nature, as it really just stand out in an awkward and ugly sort of way. See the picture here to get an idea of what I mean.
Now, this is where my current dice tower has been situated for a number of years. And as you can see, it really doesn’t quite fit in well. But this is its place of residence, and as uncomely as it may seem, this is the “best” place I have found to place it.
So perhaps now you can understand why I was drawn to the idea of the Hollow Book dice tower from Fyre and Ashe.
The dice tower and tray were designed from the get-go to blend into its surroundings. Instead of awkwardly protruding from my shelf, it could actively become a part of my shelf. By being crafted to have the outward appearance of a book, it now fits right in!
And as an avid Transformers fan might say, it is more than meets the eye.
And is quite a sight to behold.
It is really quite an elegant design. The material itself is a good quality plywood that has been burned and colored to create a design that is, in a word, artisanal. There is no better way to describe it. I know that this type of work is extremely painstaking, and it takes a lot of talent to bring this level of striking beauty into existence. It will really make your eyes pop, and will easily wow you the first time you feast your eyes on it. And many times, thereafter.
As a byproduct of being designed by fire, it will also be accompanied upon by a smokey aroma for a while. Nothing overbearing at all, but it needs mentioning in case anyone has sensitivities. To be fair, this is not overpowering at all, and is more like the subtle effect of being in the general vicinity of a southern barbecue while outdoors and wondering where that juicy smell is coming from. Again, this is not overpowering at all, and the smell will fade with time, and for my part I found this aspect particularly enjoyable given how I love to cook and smoke foods.
The outer cover of the “book” also has a really vibrant design as well, going through a beautiful and almost rainbow-like progression within the red to orange spectrum. The gradual change of shadings is again representing a limited portion of the visual spectrum, its luster makes it feel like it is perhaps showing more colors than it actually is. Quite a nice and vibrant accomplishment.
The “book “itself is hollowed out to contain both a dice tower and an additional accessory container.
In this instance, I opted to fit this with an optional Dice Trove, which can be used to store a single set of multiple polyhedral DnD dice (or any other dice you wish to use). In the past, I have been relegated to using a few ugly Chessex cases that I have in my possession which are, again, functional but flimsy and unremarkable in all other respects.
So this new fashionable way of carrying and storing dice serves much better ; not only do all the dice fit, but they are all in a row that is easy to access, rather than in a jumbled pile.
The hollowed portion of the book itself serves as the dice tray itself, while containing another beautifully wrought and designed dice tower, which sits nicely inside of its niche while not in use. When you are ready to implement it for its intended purpose, simply flip the tower up and it will magnetically lock into place ; and these magnets are very good quality, might I add. They really do lock everything into place, whereas I have experienced many designs that employed the use of cheap magnets that really do not serve any purpose at all for all of their lack of power. The Hollow Book magnets are anything but cheap, and do their job perfectly. (And I forgot to mention they are also use to “lock” your book closed, too, when not in use, too, and they do this just as perfectly).
Through my testing period, I played 4 dice-heavy games ; I tested the prototypes for Ascendancy and ¿Cuántos Tacos?, as well as Tanares Adventures and the latest Uprising: Curse of the Last Emperor & Expansion.
In use, the dice tower itself performs its job. It can handle standard sized dice well (sorry, no d100’s folks!), and can do a single or even two or three dice well, bouncing and rebounding with a satisfying sound before being ejected from the tower in good relative fashion.
However, this brings me to my sole critical observation that really stood out for me in the purposes of this review ; I noticed that doing more than 3 dice would often cause a bottleneck of dice to pile up within the tower , leading to dice that would get stuck and need to be shaken out. I am not too sure what to attribute to the cause of this.
The interior of the tower portion is cushioned a bit with some light weight foam. I am sure it serves to protect the delicate plywood from sharp and abrasive types of dice, such as those made of metal, and is a good design consideration from the standpoint of wear-and-tear given just how intricate the woodwork is. However, it is my suspicion that this foam may also be somewhat cushioning some of the bouncing that dice are usually prone to. That, combined with a relatively small opening at the base of the dice tower, may be contributing to these traffic jams.
Otherwise, there is really not much at all to complain about.
The Hollow Book I received now nests itself very comfortably in my shelf when not in use. And for this, I am grateful, as it allows me to shift my other dice tower into less obtrusive storage locations while not in use. It does not mean that I will not rely on my old tower, as it still functions very well, but for the sometimes every day occasion that pops of for a quick game here and there, it is a perfect solution.
The bottom line for the Hollow Book sets is that they are true aesthetic marvels. I would treat their primary appeal would be for a show-stopping table presence that can neatly and fashionably be tucked away into a much un expecting location. The end result can be an extra degree of tidiness that can oft be lacking in some of our homes.
Thank you to the kind folks at Fyre and Ashe for supplying the materials for me to review!
will be live on KICKSTARTER until Sat, November 25 2023 3:00 PM PST, and has a funding goal of $10,000. Check it out and back it HERE.
Find out more HERE.
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Jazz Paladin- Reviewer
Jazz Paladin is an eccentric at heart — When he is not learning to make exotic new foods at home, such as Queso Fresco cheese and Oaxacan molé, he is busy collecting vintage saxophones, harps, and other music-related paraphernalia. An avid music enthusiast, when he is not pining over the latest board games that are yet-to-be-released, his is probably hard at work making jazzy renditions of classic/retro video game music tunes as Jazz Paladin on Spotify and other digital music services.